Willow Smith has made a name for herself beyond being the daughter of Hollywood power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Now 17 years old, Willow has found success in acting, modeling, and as a singer (she’s the voice behind “Whip My Hair”). Even so, the almost-adult claims that her upbringing has been less than ideal and, in a recent interview with Girlgaze magazine, lamented the depressing horrors of growing up under the uncomfortable glare of the limelight.
As Daily Mail reports, Willow Smith called the spotlight that dogged her family and her childhood “absolutely, excruciatingly terrible,” while letting her interviewer know that she has a backup plan should her tinsel town goals fizzle. Namely, Willow warned that she may simply and “suddenly disappear” to escape a life in the tabloid crosshairs. The teen also slammed people who believe they have an “entitlement” to know what’s going on in her life.
“Growing up and trying to figure out your life while people feel like they have some sort of entitlement to know what’s going on is absolutely, excruciatingly terrible and the only way to get over it is to go into it. You can’t change your face. You can’t change your parents. You can’t change any of those things. So I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression and the world is sitting looking at them through their phones; laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche.”
While her recent interview indicates that Willow Smith is less than thrilled about her lot in life, especially when it comes to being a target of the paparazzi, it’s worth noting that her career has gotten a fairly big boon that can be traced back to her bond with dad, Will. Willow’s first movie role was alongside famous father Will Smith in his blockbuster flick I Am Legend in 2007. In the film, Willow was cast as the on-screen daughter of Will Smith’s character. It remains to be seen if the 17-year-old believes that the role was an upgrade or downgrade from her everyday life. Either way, the roll bagged Willow Smith a Young Artist Award at age of just 7 years old.
According to Willow’s Girlgaze interview, her life choices are limited to two very stark and divergent options. The young daughter of Will Smith claims to believe that she can either “completely disappear” or follow in the successful (albeit publicly scrutinized) footsteps of her famous folks. While the young Ms. Smith hasn’t announced what her decision will be, she claims that there’s not really any gray area when it comes to her choices.
“I’m either going to try to go into it completely and help from inside or no one is going to know where I am and I’m really going to take myself completely out of the eye of society. There’s really no inbetween.”
Willow is the youngest child of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Her older brother, the 19-year-old Jaden Smith, has also found success as an actor, singer, and model. He recently dropped his first album and, before that, blazed his own trails as the first male face of Louis Vuitton women’s fashion.
Earlier this year, Willow Smith made headlines as a vocal supporter of feminism and the Democratic Party, as well as an outspoken protester against the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline. Her full interview will grace the pages of the December 2017 issue of Girlgaze, which will also feature her face on the cover.
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]